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Mostafa Mohammad Najjar

Title: Minister of the Interior

Sanctions: United States (September 29, 2010)

In September 2010, the United States sanctioned Mostafa Mohammad Najjar for human rights abuses. According to the U.S. Department of State, while Najjar was Deputy Commander of Armed Forces, “he was in charge of the government response to protests on Ashura, one of the holiest days in Shia Islam, which in 2009 coincided with December 27, 2009. State media reported 37 dead and hundreds arrested.”   [1]

According to Frontline, Najjar joined the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) at the organization’s inception in 1979. Fluent in Arabic, the IRGC appointed Najjar head of its first Middle East Directorate, through which it sent forces to Lebanon to train the “future fighters of the Lebanese Hezbollah.” [2]

Returning to Iran in 1985, Najjar was appointed head of the armament section of the Organization of Defense Industries, according to Frontline. He held that position until he was named Minister of Defense in 2005.[3]

In that capacity, Najjar made several statements regarding Iran’s nuclear program. In 2006, he declared that the “Iranian nation considers full acquisition of the nuclear technology as its inalienable right,” according to Fars News Agency. [4] The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center reports that Najjar “has been linked by the European Union to the proliferation of nuclear technologies.”[5]

In November 2009, Najjar became the Deputy Commander of Armed Forces for Law Enforcement to “ensure order and security,” according to the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center. [6]

Following protests on December 27, 2009, Iran’s Press TV quoted Najjar saying “the rioters are encouraged and supported by Britain, the U.S. and the Zionist regime. The involvement of the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO), enemies and those who seek to take revenge on the Islamic establishment during the past 30 years is quite clear.”[7]

In February 2011, Iran’s Press TV quoted Najjar as saying that “today, military threats are no longer considered serious because the global arrogance knows it is incapable of militarily confronting Iran; therefore, they have turned to soft war.”[8]


[1]U.S. Department of the Treasury, Fact Sheet, “New Executive Order Targeting Iranian Officials Responsible For Or Complicit In Serious Human Rights Abuses,” September 29, 2010. (http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/tg877.aspx)

[2]Muhammad Sahimi, “Ahmadinejad’s Security Cabinet,” Frontline: Tehran Bureau, August 20, 2009. (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2009/08/ahmadinejads-security-cabinet.html)

[3]Muhammad Sahimi, “Ahmadinejad’s Security Cabinet,” Frontline: Tehran Bureau, August 20, 2009. (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2009/08/ahmadinejads-security-cabinet.html)

[4]“Wise Enemies May Not Stand against Iran,” Fars News Agency (Iran), April 12, 2006. (http://english.farsnews.net/newstext.php?nn=8501230624)

[5]“A Year Later: Suppression Continues in Iran,” Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, June 12, 2010, p.29. (http://www.iranhrdc.org/files.php?force&file=reports_en/A_Year_Later_877242880.pdf)

[6]“A Year Later: Suppression Continues in Iran,” Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, June 12, 2010, p. 29. (http://www.iranhrdc.org/files.php?force&file=reports_en/A_Year_Later_877242880.pdf)

[7]“Iran Certain of Foreign Involvement in Riots,” Press TV (Iran), January 3, 2010. (http://edition.presstv.ir/detail/115259.html)

[8]“'Enemies Attacking Iran with Illicit Drugs',” Press TV (Iran), February, 27, 2011. (http://www.presstv.ir/detail/167347.html)